Where Have You Been

Album: Talk That Talk (2011)
Charted: 6 5

Songfacts®:

  • This clubby tune combines the talents of Ester Dean, who contributed to eight tracks on Talk That Talk, along with hitmaker Dr Luke who has produced many of Katy Perry and Britney Spears singles, and Calvin Harris, the Scottish DJ behind "We Found Love." The song finds Rihanna asking the question that's on her mind - how to "find someone to love [her] all night long."
  • The song borrows elements from Australian songwriter Geoff Mack's 1959 composition "I've Been Everywhere," which three years later became a Country hit for Hank Snow with revised Americanised lyrics.
  • This is a song that is solidly grounded in Pop songwriting while borrowing heavily from Dance/Club music. Similar to music by Lady Gaga and Ellie Goulding, the song fuses superstar appeal with danceable upbeat music, all tied together by anthemic lyrics that revolve around love.

    The song establishes its presence immediately by foregoing a traditional intro, opting instead to launch directly into the verse. Coupled with several other traditional elements slightly rearranged, such as a pair of back to back pre-choruses, this creates music that feels both excitingly new and comfortably familiar at the same time.

    Rihanna's vocals create a tense, emotional atmosphere, while the progression of the song builds up and releases tension over and over, creating a series of strong hooks for the listener. The synthesized production and heavy bass are both restlessly arranged, with some new element entering the mix every 15 seconds. This makes sure we never get bored with the tune and keeps the energy level up. The core melody is both simple and catchy, inviting listeners to sing along, working toward creating a more memorable piece of music. The extremely smooth production and smart dance music elements make this a powerful, fresh slice of Pop that lodges itself deeply into your head even on a first listen.
  • Rihanna performed the song for the first time live on February 13, 2012 at the Post-Grammy Charity Fundraiser, along with her other Calvin Harris collaboration "We Found Love."
  • The music video was filmed March 7 and March 8, 2012 in Los Angeles and directed by Dave Meyers, who is best known for his work with Pink. It features Rihanna emerging from a marsh and dancing energetically in a rock-filled desert landscape with tribal dancers. The Bajan singer collaborated with choreographer Nadine "Hi-Hat" Ruffin on the African-inspired dance moves. "This one is just all about performance," Rihanna said of the visual. "It's all about evoking emotion through your body. I was never going to shoot this video if I wasn't going to do choreography 'cause it would be pretty pointless. It would be disappointing."
  • The video set a new Vevo record for the most views in a 24-hour period. It had 4.9 million views during its first day on the site.
  • The song debuted on the US and UK singles charts at #s 65 and 61 respectively upon the release of Talk That Talk, on the strength of digital downloads alone.

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